Allocation of New Dimension enhanced command support vehicles changed
New Dimension enhanced command support vehicles will be allocated to Hampshire instead
of Buckinghamshire in the South East region and to Hereford and Worcester instead
of Warwickshire in the West Midlands.
New Dimension maintenance contract awarded
It was announced on 8 July 2008 that the maintenance contract for the New Dimension
fleet has been awarded to Vosper Thornycroft Critical Services (VTCS). VTCS has been
maintaining the 3,600 vehicles of the Metropolitan Police since 2006. The transfer
of the New Dimension fleet from the Department for Communities & Local Government
to individual fire & rescue authorities, originally scheduled for 1 April 2008, is
expected to take place later this year.
London Fire Brigade Museum under threat
The chairman of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, Brian Coleman, is
reported to have said, "Once you've seen one brass helmet you have seen them all."
He went on to say, "It would be my view that the fire brigade museum no longer serves
a useful purpose for Londoners. We are a fire and rescue service; we are not a museums
and archives service... ... ... I think probably a museum is a luxury we can no longer
Alexander-Dennis not supplying chassis for West Midlands order
Although Dennis Eagle could provide the cab shells, due to sourcing issues for other
elements of the cab Alexander-Dennis are unable to accept an order received through
FireBuy for 12 pumping appliance chassis for West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service.
New Heathrow fire station opened
London Heathrow Airport opened its new fire station on 5 August 2008. It replaces
a 30-year-old station which is to be demolished. The airport's second fire station
near Terminal 5 remains in operation.
Reprieve for London Fire Brigade Museum
A proposal that could have led to the closure of the London Fire Brigade Museum was
defeated at the London Fire Fire & Emergency Planning Authority's budget meeting
on Thursday 20 November.
It was reported that since the LFEPA's budget process had commenced and the possibility
that the museum might close had become more widely known, approaches had been made
by a number of parties expressing an interest in maintaining the museum, either on
site or elsewhere. Officials had assumed the authority would wish to see these possibilities
investigated further and suggested a further report no later than the March meeting.
However a majority of the LFEPA members voted to remove the closure proposal from
the budget consideration.
Firellink is the new communications system for fire and rescue services in Great
Britain designed to provide
greater radio voice quality
enhanced network coverage
greater system resilience and security
the capability of better radio communications between brigades and with the police
and ambulance services.
On 28 November the Department for Communities and Local Government issued a circular
(FRS 63/2008) giving an update on the project.
Phase A (network build) is complete in the early regions in England and the remaining
regions are expected to reach completion over the next few months. All existing control
rooms are now connected to the Airwave network.
Phase B (operational fleet roll-out) began in the South West region on 24 November.
Roll-out to subsequent regions will commence at roughly fortnightly intervals, starting
with the North East and East Midlands on 1 December and West MIdlands on 12 January
Under Phase C (regional controls) installation for the communications interface has
already started in the first centre scheduled to become operational in the South
First Regional Controls Nine Months Late
On 26 November Fire Minister Sadiq Khan said that the completion of eight new highly
resilient regional control centre buildings had been achieved along with the establishment
of eight local authority controlled companies which will run them.
However the Government's £380m FiReControl project is behind schedule and they are
now aiming for the first three regional control centres, in the North East, East
Midlands and South West, to become operational in summer 2010 - nine months later
than previously expected. The full system is expected to be in place by spring 2012
- five months later than originally planned.
Transfer of New Dimension Assets
It is now envisaged that the DCLG will transfer New Dimension equipment and vehicles
to individual fire & rescue services by the end of March 2009.